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Saint Mark's Campanile

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St Mark’s Campanile (Campanile di San Marco) is one of the icons of Venice, a free-standing bell tower in the Piazza San Marco, standing between St Mark’s Basilica (St Mark’s Church) and the Doge’s Palace. Ascend to the top of this 323 ft (99 m) tall tower to get a glorious view of the city and the lagoon beyond.
Klaus KainzBy Klaus Kainz
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Tickets & Tours

Book a ticket or take a tour which will take you to St Mark’s Campanile.
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Private tour of Venice highlights with skip-the-line ticket to St. Mark's Bell Tower
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4 tips for visiting the Saint Mark's Campanile

Sunset from San Giorgio Maggiore | Photo: Flickr, HarshLight - CC BY 2.0
Visit the St. Mark's Tower in the morning or eveningThe queue for the Campanile moves quite quickly, but if you can’t stand crowds then plan to visit early in the morning or after 5 pm when there are fewer tourist groups. Alternatively, you can buy a Skip-the-Line ticket.
View at the Saint Mark's Campanile | Photo: Unsplash, Claudio Schwarz - CC BY 2.0
Explore the tower luggage-freeLuggage is not allowed inside the campanile. Strollers should be left at the bottom of the tower or in the left luggage area at Ateneo San Basso, across the Piazzetta dei Leoncini from St Mark’s Basilica. The top of the tower gets very busy and it will be easier to carry babies in a baby carrier.
The St Mark's Basilica | Photo: Unsplash, Birger Strahl - CC BY 2.0
Additional tickets are also worth consideringThe Campanile is the bell tower of Venice’s iconic St Mark's Basilica. Other parts of the church, also known as Basilica di San Marco, are also open to tourists, including a museum. However, these attractions require separate tickets for entry.
Saint Mark's Campanile at dawn | Photo: Unsplash, Florin Goran - CC BY 2.0
Be prepared…If you’re at the top of the tower at noon, then prepare yourself for the bells! They ring while visitors are inside the tower and can be extremely loud.
View of the St. Mark's Square | Photo: Unsplash, Andy Holmes - CC-BY-SA 2.0

The most important facts about St Mark’s Campanile

The St Mark’s Campanile in Venice is quite iconic, which makes it a popular tourist attraction. Below we will tell you the most important things you should know about before visiting this historic tower yourself.

What’s a Campanile?

Campanile is the Italian word for a bell tower, deriving from the word campana, which means bell. In English it’s mostly used to refer to a bell tower which is free-standing, or unattached to the church or building it belongs to. The tallest campanile is in Mortegliano, and it stands 371 ft (113 m) tall. So at 323 ft (99 m) St Mark’s Campanile isn’t too far off the record!

The history

The original tower in St Mark’s Square was built in the 9th century CE and served as a watchtower or lighthouse for the nearby dock. Over the years it was rebuilt and repaired several times after suffering damage from fires and earthquakes until it became the version we see today in 1513. That version collapsed in 1902 but was rebuilt to the exact dimensions of its predecessor - albeit with a brand-new elevator. The Saint Mark's Campanile has inspired similar towers in Australia, the USA, Germany, Spain, and many more.
The bell floor of the St. Marks's tower | Photo: Unsplash, Mateus Campos Felipe - CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The Special Bells

The tower is home to the church’s five bells, each of which has a particular use. The Nona still rings out at noon, and the Marangona at the beginning and end of the working day. The other bells had specific uses during the Republic of Venice: the Mezza Terza announced sessions of the Senate, the Trottiera called council members to meetings, and the Renghiera, also known as the Maleficio rang out to announce executions.
From the Campanile | Photo: Flickr, HarshLight - CC BY 2.0

Venetian Panorama

From the top of St Mark’s Campanile, you get an unparalleled view of the domes of St Mark's Basilica, the Doge’s Palace and everything else in the Piazza San Marco. You also get a wonderful view of the lagoon, and on a clear day, you’ll be able to spot the islands of Giudecca, San Giorgio, Murano, and Lido in the distance.
Carnival in Venice | Photo: Unsplash, Richard Natour - CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Carnival attraction

If you’re in Venice during carnival time, then try to see the Flight of the Angel! This tradition started in the mid-16th century when a Turkish acrobat walked along a tightrope from a boat to the top of the Campanile. From 2001 the event has gone from using professionals to celebrities (bizarrely including Coolio). Today the role of the angel is played by the young woman who was declared Maria of the previous year’s carnival.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the tower barrier-free accessible?

Although the campanile has an elevator, the gallery is not entirely compatible with wheelchairs. It may be difficult for those with more severe mobility problems to see over the lip of the balcony at the view. Disabled people and their carers may enter the church free of charge. Read more.

How long does a visit to the bell tower take?

You should plan for a tour of about 20 to 30 minutes. Read more.

Is there an ascent alternative for the elevator?

Unfortunately, the only way to access the campanile is by elevator. There are stairs, but they are only to be used in emergencies and for maintenance. Read more.

Is it allowed to carry bags and backpacks during the tour?

Luggage is not allowed inside the campanile, any bags should be left at Ateneo San Basso, across the Piazzetta dei Leoncini from St Mark’s Basilica. Read more.

General information

opening hours

St Mark’s Campanile is open from 9:30 am to 9:15 pm daily, last admission at 8:45 pm. The bell tower may close for maintenance throughout the year and may be closed during adverse weather conditions.


Tickets for St Mark’s Campanile cost 10 €, while for 12 € you can get a ticket that lets you bypass all lines.


Campanile di San Marco
Piazza San Marco
30124 Venice


Children under the age of 7, disabled ID holders and their accompanying person get free admission. Please note that corresponding IDs must be shown.

how to get there

Piazza San Marco can be reached via vaporetti lines 1, 51, and 2 from either the Piazzale Roma or Santa Lucia station. You can walk from either of those locations in about 40 minutes, and St Mark’s Campanile is easy to reach from many other attractions and sites in Venice.
Klaus Kainz
Written byKlaus KainzAs a studied historian, Klaus is not only interested in historical sights, but also in their fascinating backgrounds. For TicketLens, he gets to the heart of the most interesting information about attractions and travel destinations.
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